GLEN ROSE - Prior to spending a rainy week off from school for spring break, eighteen Glen Rose High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members were busy utilizing the life skills they’ve learned in the classroom at the Region II Conference.

The Region II conference, held March 3-5 in Waco, featured a series of specialized leadership tracks and general sessions in which members discovered ways to become actively involved in issues facing today’s youth. GRHS student, Bari Douglas - who also happens to serve as the FCCLA Region II President – led the conference that was attended by 1,200 delegates and advisors.

Being in charge of a large conference took a lot of planning on Douglas’ behalf.

“From getting the script and decorations ready, to getting everybody who was going to speak all lined up, was a huge process that took a year to plan out.” Douglas explained. “It was just awesome to see the final product and for it to be a success and I enjoyed every second of it.”

While Douglas was busy leading the conference, the rest of her FCCLA peers were busy participating in Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR). STAR is a series of competitions, which allow students to showcase their life skills in different areas. For some of the students the three-day competition created a butterflies-in-the-stomach moment.

“I was so nervous,” Aimee Cardona said. “For most of us it was our first time so we didn’t know what to expect.”

“For our project it was down to the last day and we still weren’t done, so it was nerve-wrecking trying to get everything done and memorize the speech,” Audrey Smith added of the anxiety she and her partner Desiree Yzaguirre faced.

Despite their nerves, the chapter excelled in the competition and seven of the nine GRHS teams qualified for state.

“I’m excited, because all of our hard work paid off,” Smith said.

This was one of the largest groups GRHS FCCLA advisor, Jill Lawson has taken to the region meeting and she couldn’t have anticipated how well it went.

“Having that many different areas of projects was chaotic at times, but it was all worth and I’m super proud of them,” she said.

Although they did not advance to state, Lawson said that chapter members Daisy Pena and Sydney Gantt both represented Glen Rose well in their area of competition.

In April, the FCCLA members who placed in the competition will be heading to the State FCCLA Leadership Conference in Dallas. They will be competing for a chance to advance to the national competition and the consensus is they will be making it to nationals.

“At state we are really going to compete for a chance to go to nationals,” Lawson said. “Our goal is San Diego.”

The accolades for the students didn’t stop at qualifying for the state competition.

Prior to the conference, GRHS FCCLA members were tasked with collecting non-perishable food items to be donated to the Caritas Organization, a non-profit charity that provides those in need with food, clothing and household items. The group received the Service Learning Award, for collecting and donating the most items to the Caritas.

Douglas was also elected to serve as a State FCCLA Officer for the 2016-17 school year. She will have to wait until April to find out her office, but Douglas is hoping to be elected to State President.

“I’m really excited,” Douglas said. “This is something I’ve worked for all year long and it feels great to finally be at the level I want.”

The trip wouldn’t have been possible without the chaperones and parents that helped the students achieve success along the way. Lawson and the chapter would like to thank Lorrie McCravey, Shelby Cannon, Kayla Bland Lindsey Brewer, Mandy Gartrell, Veronica Welch, Daniel Pena and Janet Wallace. Mina Douglas also received recognition as an honorary FCCLA member at the meeting.

Congratulations are in order to the following GRHS teams that made it to state:

First Place: Interior Design - Ashley Hang.

First Place: Environmental Ambassadors Jr.- Estrella Ayala, Lilia Juarez, and Daphne Canseco.

Second Place: Culinary Arts - Ciera Johannessen, Kason Brewer and Oscar Suarez.

Second Place: Food Innovations - Audrey Smith and Desiree Yzaguirre.

Third Place: Chapter In Review Display Sr. members - Adriana Herrera, Isela Delgado and Destinee Austin.

Fifth Place: Illustrated Talk Jr. - Mackenzie Campos.

Fifth Place: Focus on Children - Aimee Cardona.